Care home owners 'must be held to account'
The owners of care homes must be "held to account" for abuse in their properties, the Care Minister said today.
Answering an Urgent Question from his Labour counterpart Liz Kendall, Norman Lamb said that the abuse of patients at the Winterbourne View home was a "national scandal" and promised the Government would take "robust and clear" action to prevent such cases.
Speaking in the Commons Mr Lamb said:
"I’ve been working since my appointment to ensure that we set the right policy to protect very vulnerable individuals and she is right to say that they must never suffer from abuse, of course there is always the risk of rogue individuals who behave very badly…The owners at a corporate level of these organisations must be held to account for things that go on in their homes."
Last night's Panorama programme revealed that several former Winterbourne View patients had since been subject to safeguarding orders because of concerns over their wellbeing. The minister said he had been informed of six safeguarding orders and had been "assured that these are all being followed up to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individuals concerned".
Mr Lamb will deliver a final report on the steps the Government plans for the sector at the end of November. He said he was "absolutely determined" that the Government would deliver a proper response to the scandal.
Part of the Government's response, he added, was ensuring a "substantial reduction" in the number of patients with behavioural difficulties being admitted to hospitals.